Larry Goldberg is the owner of a second-hand bookstore in Amsterdam. He came to The Netherlands 30 years ago. He's a middle aged hermit who likes to talk and has an answer to everything. He is intelligent and has a sense of humour. One day, a girl walks into his store, who looks like Larry's lost love from Morocco. The girl makes Larry rethink his life. In the surroundings of the bookstore, a lot of criminal, but also funny activities take place. Besides Amsterdam, the movie also travels to Morocco, to see Larry and his love 30 years before, and to the United States, where Aïsha's family lives. Written by
"Snapshots" is an unsung combination coming-of-age tale and mature love story from Holland which was released directly to video. While it suffers from a certain lack of believability in its key plot points, as well as from not enough depth in character development to tell us how the main characters arrived at where they are, it benefits from an overall air of sweetness and charm that makes it a pleasant way to kill two hours. You could do worse with some of the garbage that did manage to get booked into your local multiplexes.
Burt Reynolds has what is for him quite an offbeat role, that of an aging hippie/hermit holed up in his bookstore in Amsterdam, railing at the failings of the modern world, as well as his own personal failings in life. I'm not a huge fan, but he gives one of his least obnoxious performances of late. Carmen Chaplin makes an auspicious impression as the young woman who enters his world, growing up and discovering life in the process. She is a lovely girl, the granddaughter of Charles Chaplin, with dark features, beautiful light eyes and a lithe body which features prominantly in the plot. Julie Christie, as others have pointed out here, is also cast in an offbeat role, that of Ms. Chaplin's mother, a Moroccan woman. Not the first person who springs to mind for such a part, but she is vibrant and charming here, and gives a nice spark to each scene she is in. I thought she pulled off her accent quite as nicely as Meryl Streep could have as well! The distinguished Indian actor, Saeed Jaffrey, for some reason, is not listed in the IMDB cast credits, but plays Chaplin's father and Christie's ex-husband in a few scenes.
The whole thing makes for a rather quaint and pleasant diversion with a nice flavor of both Amsterdam and Morocco, and leaves a smile on your face at the end.
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